Old Power Amplifier vs New - Which Would You Choose? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 08-26-2013, 06:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Lets make this specific: if you were given a choice between two power amplifiers Onkyo M-504 and Emotiva XPA-200, which would you choose and why?
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My situation is this. I need a power amp. I can buy a new one (the Emotiva) or fulfill my long time dream and get the M-504. I've always admired Onkyo's amazing looks. I know some of you will laugh at the idea of buying a 30 years old power amp or even comparing it to a modern machine.

Both have approximately the same power. Both will be bought for $500 or so. But I heard that new amps evolved in terms of sound quality.

Here are the specs (I know they may be meaningless because M-504 will be 20-30 years old!):

Emotiva XPA-200

Frequency Response - 10 Hz to 80 kHz
Power: 150 watts / channel; into 8 Ohms
Signal-to-Noise Ratio - 110 dB
THD - 0.02%
Damping Factor (8 Ohm load): > 500

Onkyo M-504

Frequency Response - 1Hz - 100 kHz
Power: 165 watts / channel; into 8 Ohms
Signal-to-Noise Ratio - 120 dB
THD - 0.003%
Damping Factor (8 Ohm load): 140
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post #2 of 19 Old 08-26-2013, 07:24 PM
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If it was me I'd go for a new amp over an equivalent 30 year old amp because of the age. Parts fail due to age and wear and nothing last forever. I'd hate to spend $500 and have it fail soon after purchasing it.

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post #3 of 19 Old 08-26-2013, 07:46 PM
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Parts fail due to age and wear and nothing last forever. I'd hate to spend $500 and have it fail soon after purchasing it.

+1......caps wear over time with use and need replacement. why risk your money?

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post #4 of 19 Old 08-26-2013, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legairre View Post

If it was me I'd go for a new amp over an equivalent 30 year old amp because of the age. Parts fail due to age and wear and nothing last forever. I'd hate to spend $500 and have it fail soon after purchasing it.

Makes sense, Legairre, thanks.

Is there a modern power amplifier that has huge VU meters like M'504's? McIntosh apm do, but I can't afford them. Well, wait a minute, I forgot i bought a lottery ticket. Jackpot, here I come.
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post #5 of 19 Old 08-26-2013, 08:25 PM
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I'd probably get something like this -

http://www.ebay.com/itm/McIntosh-MC2105-Vintage-Stereo-Power-Amplifier-/251325095863

- and hope it sounded okay. smile.gif

If it didn't then it would only cost $800 to have fixed. eek.gif


The modern amp will probably sound better actually, just not look so stylish.
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post #6 of 19 Old 08-26-2013, 09:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diablo676 View Post

I'd probably get something like this -

http://www.ebay.com/itm/McIntosh-MC2105-Vintage-Stereo-Power-Amplifier-/251325095863

- and hope it sounded okay. smile.gif

If it didn't then it would only cost $800 to have fixed. eek.gif


The modern amp will probably sound better actually, just not look so stylish.

While we are on the subject of Ebay, can someone explain THIS to me? I can't figured it out all by myself.
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post #7 of 19 Old 08-26-2013, 10:30 PM
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I think it was a typo, probably was trying to be $155.00.

IF I was to buy a cassette deck, I would go for a Nakamichi RX-505 unit because the auto reverse sled is COOL! They were also considered the creme de la creme.
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post #8 of 19 Old 08-27-2013, 06:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Could be a typo. It is worth about $20 even if you put a hundred dollar bill inside. I sent the seller a message: "$15,000 and that's my final offer!". He hasn't replied. Doesn't like low ball offers, I guess. smile.gif
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post #9 of 19 Old 08-27-2013, 07:43 AM
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Good detail and soundstage and looks stunning to boot! There are three very large transformers inside,I bought a Onkyo M-504 on amazon last week.65pFOd
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post #10 of 19 Old 08-27-2013, 08:02 AM
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I would take the Onkyo because I like the look of the meters.
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post #11 of 19 Old 08-27-2013, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post

I would take the Onkyo because I like the look of the meters.

Me too, but the other guys made valid points:

1) Old parts = lower reliability, expensive to fix, no warranty

2) Old parts = lower quality of sound , worn out

You can't argue with that logic.
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post #12 of 19 Old 08-27-2013, 10:05 AM
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I would make my decision on what do they output at 4,3,2 ohm also what is the slew rate of each?
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post #13 of 19 Old 08-27-2013, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oztech View Post

I would make my decision on what do they output at 4,3,2 ohm also what is the slew rate of each?
This is interesting. Why? What will that tell me?
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post #14 of 19 Old 08-27-2013, 10:37 AM
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He's probably wondering about the ohms because even if your speakers are 8 ohms they more than likely will drop below 8 ohms under certain conditions. If they do how well does the amp handle a speaker that dips to 4 or lower ohm? If the amp can't handle lower ohms it could be damaged or cause clipping and cause damage to your speakers such as blowing a tweeter.

"What do you mean it's too loud? My ears aren't even bleeding yet!"

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post #15 of 19 Old 08-27-2013, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post

I would take the Onkyo because I like the look of the meters.

I just got something that has VU meters 10 times bigger than Onkyo M-504's:


smile.gif
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post #16 of 19 Old 08-27-2013, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grigorianvlad View Post

This is interesting. Why? What will that tell me?
As another poster answered, it will tell how well it will handle loads .
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post #17 of 19 Old 08-27-2013, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
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A few more contenders for the most beautiful faceplate:



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post #18 of 19 Old 08-27-2013, 07:42 PM
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Meters? What do you do when they wear out? Stare at a dead needle?
I got a Hafler xl280 off of CL for $120, has 145w per channel and can actually play into a low impedence load. I use it to drive my Acoustat 2+2's,If I hooked up that Onkyo, I bet it would burn up. I saw a post from someone with Emotiva mono blocks and Acoustats and they kept triggering the overload circuitry on the Emotiva. Thing is rather ugly but it is better than those two.
There are some great amps that pop up every now and then on the used market. I don't consider the onkyo or the emotiva to be great. Good, yes. Great, no.
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post #19 of 19 Old 08-27-2013, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dclark View Post

There are some great amps that pop up every now and then on the used market. I don't consider the onkyo or the emotiva to be great. Good, yes. Great, no.

DCLARK, what are those great amps then (please keep in mind they theoretically should cost $500 or so used)?

It seems to me that you know a lot about this sort of gear, so I am anxious to learn here.

I can understand your sarcasm about the "meters". You see, there are different kinds of amp users.

Some prefer looks over sound (or at least they prefer aesthetics as much as the sound). I know this sounds laughable to you, but this sort of people (I am one of these idiots) wouldnt even look at an amp unless it has some kind of meters or at least a jumping light of sorts. Wouldn't make a difference if it was a one-of-a-kind $375,000 Goldmund Telos 5000 monoblock. If it doesn't light up like a Christmas tree, it is no good. You can paint an analog meter on a P.O.S. Pyle or Technical Pro amp and you couldn't pull us away from it with a bulldozer!

Others prefer function over form. I think you are such a reasonable person. I bet you can talk for hours about imaging, harmonic lushment, soundstage, channel separation, clipping, pitch differentiated acoustic energy and all other important things that would bore the first group to death. The wrapping means nothing to this second group. What's inside matters, though. If an amp reproduces the original recording faithfully, it is reasonably priced and reliable, then it is a good amp. Makes perfect sense.

In all honesty, I am aspiring to join the second group. But I am still trying to find an amp that will satisfy that childlish meter junkie inside and still sound natural.

Is there such a thing?
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